HEALTH IN THE 21st CENTURY
Modern day living provides a real health paradox, on the one hand most of us are relatively well off compared to our ancestors, we have access to comfortable homes, healthy foods, travel to the most beautiful locations in the world, jobs that provide us with the basic material things in life, an environment where most of the dangers of previous generations have been removed, health care and an information age where data on just about any subject is available at the touch of a button.
However, many of us live in polluted cities, breath contaminated air, eat processed “convenience” foods of little or no nutritional value, take little or no exercise and are subject to continual low level forms of insidious stress.
Diseases of the 21st Century continue to rise at an alarming rate – Obesity, Cardio Vascular disease, High Blood Pressure, Type 2 Diabetes, Cancer, and Auto Immune issues are all at epidemic levels. The National Health Service is stretched to breaking point and we need to take a fresh approach.
We all need to take responsibility for our own health and that of our families.
I aim to assist and educate my clients through the information minefield that exists and provide them with bespoke solutions to their individual problems. This can only really be achieved on a personal one-to-one basis after a process of information gathering on the person concerned.
ARTICLES ON THIS PAGE
THE ROLE OF EXERCISE/ACTIVITY IN PREVENTATIVE MEDICINE
By way of introduction Paul Ehren has operated a successful Personal Training business for the last 15 years. He is designated a Master Personal Trainer and is qualified to hold the highest, level 4, membership of the Register of Exercise Professionals. At the age of 54 Paul is still a competitive athlete having won British and Regional titles as a Masters competitor as well as representing the UK in International competition.
Prior to setting up his own business Paul was a Director of a City based Financial Services company.
Paul states “I would like to think that my age and experience, not only in Professional Fitness but also in the Commercial world has given me a wealth of experience and knowledge to draw upon providing understanding and empathy with a large range of clients and prospective clients.
The basis of a thorough, Professional preventative health care plan would, I suggest, consist of 4 component parts:
Medical Advice and Assistance
Constructive Life style
Functional, relevant Exercise/Activity
The order and exact make up of any plan would vary for each person but to a greater or lesser extent each of these 4 parts would be required in order to obtain and maintain Optimum Health.
My objective in this initial article is to introduce some of the major concepts of Exercise and Activity and their place in a Health Plan.
My first thoughts are that any advice I provide to a client needs to be functional and relevant to that client’s needs and circumstances. These may vary from a young competitive athlete through to an elderly but relatively fit individual or someone suffering from a chronic medical condition or, of course, a combination of these.
I would define my own services as providing Strength, Conditioning, Fitness and Nutrition advice which at first reading may seem geared more towards high end athletic performance but let us just explore these requirements within the confines of the elderly person mentioned earlier.
This individual still requires the physical strength and conditioning to perform the Activities of Daily Living (ADL’s). The ability to push, pull, lift, rotate, knee bend, stride and maintain flexibility will enable this person to continue a largely independent life well into what we now consider “old age”. In fact with the advances being made today in Health Care, Nutrition and Exercise science we seriously have to re define what “old age” actually means.
Even the ability of keeping a slightly more physically challenged person stable on their feet should significantly decrease the possibility of falls and subsequent bone breakages which can have such detrimental long term health consequences.
We can start to see therefore that the idea of Strength, Conditioning and Fitness expands to include, not only structured exercise but general physical activity - it is of no surprise that Official Government sources are finally recommending a daily 30 minute walk to help prevent or alleviate any number of medical conditions.
Neither should we believe that the benefits of Exercise/activity stop with the physical. Numerous studies have shown that many mental illnesses or conditions can be significantly aided by Exercise/Activity intervention.
Putting any program into practice would begin with a client consultation which would be used to:
Ascertain all relevant personal details and circumstances
The current Exercise/Activity levels being undertaken and those enjoyed in the past
Discussion of Short and Long term goals
Full details of all existing and prior illnesses and medical conditions
The external factors both assisting and hindering the smooth achievement of these goals
Current dietary practices
A draft plan can then be drawn up which may include intervention from other qualified professionals in specialized fields.
The plan, once complete, is then discussed fully with the client and an implementation strategy agreed.
Progress is reviewed on an agreed time scale and adjustments implemented where necessary to ensure, where ever possible, the original goals are fulfilled.
In this fashion no matter what goals are anticipated from improvement in athletic performance, body fat loss, health concerns, general fitness issues, stress reduction to age management we can address the matters raised in a personal, bespoke manner.
In future articles I hope to explore that exact nature of the Exercise/Activity options available to us as well the benefits of these options to a variety of conditions including:
Cardiovascular disease including Hypertension, Cholesterol and Blood Lipid irregularities
Chronic respiratory Disease - Asthma
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary disease - Bronchitis and Emphysema
Non Specific Low back pain
I am available to discuss all aspects of Exercise/Activity related matters and I may be contacted via the contact details shown.
FUNCTIONAL RESISTANCE TRAINING
The primary requirements we should have from our skeletal muscles - apart from keeping us alive and in a state of internal Homeostasis is for them to allow us to perform the activities of daily living (ADL’s).
To stand straight and balanced
To walk freely without falling
To sit and return to standing position
These patterns performed at different levels of ability will allow us to tackle the tasks daily life requires of us right thru to participating in high level sporting activity.
It remains my strong belief that almost everyone should perform some level of resistance training to help them in a variety of areas:
Assist the body to function at optimum levels
To provide a more aesthetic, better looking physique
To help reduce body fat and improve various other medical markers leading to an improvement in health and vitality.
To perform sports at a level consummate with our genetic ability
To offset the fragility that comes with increasing age
In short, to live functional, productive, enjoyable, independent lives characterised by physical and mental well being.